Moir Christmas Classic: Carson girls 49, North Rowan 36
By Ronnie Gallagher
– – See a gallery of photos from the game here. – – The history book at Carson High School is filling up.
Leave one more page open for what happened Monday in the first round of the Sam Moir Christmas Classic.
The Cougar girls defeated North Rowan 49-36 in Catawba’s Goodman Gym for their fifth victory of the season.
That was a milestone, considering the team had won just four games in the first three years of existence.
A much more impressive milestone was that this was the first-ever win in the Moir.
“There are definitely some positives,” Carson coach Brooke Misenheimer said. “Winning our first in the Moir is great.”
Misenheimer is playing a lot of young players this season and when she looked at the stat sheet, she saw two freshmen, Allison Blackwell and Tyesha Phillips, and a sophomore, Chloe Monroe, as her leading scorers. All three hit double figures.
In fact, Phillips scored Carson’s first points on a layup after a steal and Blackwell followed with a jumper in the lane.
That gave the Cougars (5-7) a lead they would never relinquish. The Cavaliers hurried everything while going 1-for-19 in the first quarter. Carson passed, passed, passed and usually came away with a good shot. At the end of the period, Blackwell put in a rebound, Monroe swished a 15-footer and Blackwell fed Breckin Settlemyer for a layup.
A stunned group of Cavaliers went back to their bench down 17-4.
“They beat us up and down the floor,” North coach Tony Hillian sighed. “We didn’t come out and match their intensity.”
It didn’t get any better. Jazzmin Brown started the second quarter with a 3-pointer. After Brittany Davis scored for North (3-5), Carson went on a 10-2 run behind its top three scorers.
Phillips hit a free throw, then took a feed from Monroe for a jumper. Monroe turned a steal into a layup. Blackwell fed Brittany Alexander for a bucket, and then she drilled a 3 from the top of the key.
“We shot really well in the first half,” Misenheimer said, citing a 13-for-27 performance.
“I told the girls at halftime I didn’t know whether they wanted to play ball or be spectators,” said Hillian.
Carson had six turnovers in the first three minutes of the third quarter and Misenheimer called a timeout. Carson came out and immediately committed turnovers No. 7 and 8 of the quarter.
“I don’t know if we were comfortable with our lead,” Misenheimer said. “Our emphasis was not to look at the scoreboard. It was to play hard and take care of the ball. That’s not what happened.”
The Cavs kept inching closer and closer due to pressure defense and got within 41-34 on a Symphony Roberts free throw. They not only held Carson to one fourth-quarter field goal, they were dominating under the boards, finishing with 24 offensive rebounds. But North just couldn’t consistently score.
“Once again, we just didn’t finish easy baskets,” Hillian said.
Phillips and Monroe scored all 10 points for Carson in the fourth, with Monroe sealing it, hitting 6 of 8 from the line in the last three minutes.
NOTES: Carson plays Salisbury in the semifinals tonight at 6 p.m. … Carson got good games from its senior veterans, too. Settlemyer led all rebounders with 11 and Kaylene Livengood drilled two clutch 3-pointers. … North shot 35 more times than Carson but finished 15-for-74 from the field. Carson was 18-for-39. … Blackwell had an all-around game, scoring 11 while adding eight rebounds and three assists.
carson (49) ó Blackwell 11, Phillips 11, Monroe 10, K. Livengood 6, Settlemyer 4, Brown 3, Alexander 2, Dulkoski 2, Heggins, Holman, Cloninger, M. Livengood.
north rowan (36) ó Roberts 12, Davis 6, Cuthbertson 6, Bush 6, Vann 4, C. Turner 2, Berry, Brown, E. Turner, Sells.
Carson 17 13 9 10 ó 49
N. Rowan 4 8 14 10 ó 36